Tag Archives: won

Review of Let It Snow, by Nancy Thayer

I won a paperback copy of Nancy Thayer‘s Let it Snow through Goodreads. I read it now, in September, so that I can put it in the Little Free Library with the other holiday themed (or set) books in December.

Description:

Christina Antonioni is preparing for the holidays at her Nantucket toy shop, unpacking last-minute shipments and decorating for her loyal Christmas shoppers. But when her Scrooge of a landlord, Oscar Bittlesman, raises her rent, it seems nearly impossible for Christina to continue business on the wharf.

Even so, Christina hopes there is a warm heart underneath Oscar’s steely exterior. When she bonds with Wink, his sweet, young granddaughter who frequents the shop, it becomes clear that perhaps he isn’t so cold after all. And with the help of Wink’s uncle, who happens to be a charming and very handsome bachelor, this may be the best Christmas any of them could have ever imagined. Nancy Thayer’s enchanting Nantucket setting provides the perfect backdrop for this holiday love story. 

Review:

This is a hard book for me to review, because everyone’s taste varies and this particular kind of book makes me cringe. At about the halfway mark I thought, “This is the sort of book people who like the Hallmark Channel would enjoy.” It’s completely true. At one point the main character even sits down and watches it herself. Unfortunately, that particular brand of wholesome, clean (read bland in my opinion), never rings true for me. I dislike it extremely. But I also acknowledge that there is a reason the Hallmark Channel has been around as long as it has. There are people out there who love tis kind of feel-good cheese. I’m just not one of them.

So, I’ll give it a middle of the road three stars. Acknowledging that the writing is perfectly solid and though I can’t relate to a 3-week romance culminating in a proposal, or the crass talk of who is rich and who is poor, or even the fact that everyone refused to get involved in the business issue and that was somehow supposed to be fair, others will no doubt love this.

Review of Fix Her Up (Hot & Hammered, #1), by Tessa Bailey

cover of Fix Her UP

I won a paperback copy of Fix Her Up, by Tessa Bailey. But since it’s audiobooks I’ve been mostly listening to lately, I went ahead and borrowed an audio copy from the library.

Description from Goodreads:

After an injury ends Travis Ford’s major league baseball career, he returns home to start over. He just wants to hammer out his frustrations at his new construction gig and forget all about his glory days. But he can’t even walk through town without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there’s Georgie, his buddy’s little sister, who is definitely not a kid anymore.

Georgette Castle has crushed on her older brother’s best friend for years. The grumpy, bear of a man working for her family’s house flipping business is a far cry from the charming sports star she used to know. But a moody scowl doesn’t scare her and Georgie’s determined to show Travis he’s more than a pretty face and a batting average, even if it means putting her feelings aside to be “just friends.”

Travis wants to brood in peace. But the girl he used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman who makes him feel whole again. And he wants her. So damn bad. Except Georgie’s off limits and he knows he can’t give her what she deserves. But she’s becoming the air he breathes and Travis can’t stay away, no matter how hard he tries…

Review:

I fully admit that contemporary romance is not a favored genre for me. I much prefer to have some sci-fi or fantasy mixed in there. But I won this book and wanted to read and review it. And it wasn’t bad for what it is. There were several times in the book I groaned and rolled my eyes—when the main character was supposed to have legitimately forgotten to put a bra on, the oops I guess I can’t wear panties because there aren’t any clean ones (tee-hee), all the “baby girls,” etc. Such things are contrived and ruin a book for me. 

Further, for people who were supposed to have known one another all their lives (even loved, in one case), no one seemed to know one another very well. And while the sex was hot, I had a hard time reconciling all the smutty talk and rough sex with the silly virginal main character. Lastly, it all wrapped up a little to perfectly, with the requisite happy ending of marriage and babies. 

Having said all that, I did think the couple was cute together. I very much appreciated that they communicated. There were no unnecessary miscommunications and, with the exception of the drama to bring about the finale, both characters were able to perceive the obvious and willing to ask and talk about it. That was seriously refreshing. Plus, the banter was fun. A lot of the communication I so appreciated came about in banter, keeping things light. 

All in all, I didn’t love it. But I think I liked it as much as I could. And Charlotte North did a fine job with the narrations.

Review of Out of the Ice, by Ann Turner

I won a paperback copy of Ann Turner‘s Out of the Ice through Goodreads.

Description:

When environmental scientist Laura Alvarado is sent to a remote Antarctic island to report on an abandoned whaling station, she begins to uncover more than she could ever imagine.

Despite new life thriving in the icy wilderness, the whaling station is brimming with awful reminders of its bloody, violent past, and Laura is disturbed by evidence of recent human interference. Rules have been broken, and the protected wildlife is behaving strangely.

On a diving expedition, Laura is separated from her colleague. She emerges into an ice cave where, through the blue shadows, she is shocked to see an anguished figure, crying for help.

But in this freezing, lonely landscape there are ghosts everywhere, and Laura begins to sense that her own eyes cannot be trusted. Is her mind playing tricks? Has she been in the ice too long?

Back at base, Laura’s questions about the whaling station go unanswered, blocked by unhelpful scientists, unused to questions from an outsider. And Laura just can’t shake what happened in the ice cave.

Piecing together a past and present of cruelty and vulnerability that can be traced all around the globe, from Norway, to Nantucket, Europe and Antarctica, Laura will stop at nothing to unearth the truth. As she sees the dark side of endeavour and human nature, she also discovers a legacy of love, hope and the meaning of family. If only Laura can find her way…

Out of the ice.

Review:

I don’t use star ratings on this blog. But I do cross-post to Goodreads, and there I rated this book 2 stars. Let me say early on that my low rating is a reflection of the fact that I did not like the book, not necessarily that it’s a poorly written book. I suppose you could say that it’s a subjective, rather than objecting rating.

The issue was largely that, despite the stunning descriptions of nature, the book didn’t hold my attention. I was bored a lot of the time and I found Laura’s thoughts repetitive. Then, with about 100 pages to go, I set the book aside and read three other ones before forcing myself back to finish it. The problem was that in addition to the things I listed above, it became obvious that the hinted mystery was going to be a pedophilia ring and I both didn’t want to face reading it and felt horribly disappointed that Turner chose such an over-used, tritely salacious climax. All in all, I’m just glad to be finished with it.